Seow, Chun

Portrait photo of Chun  Seow


Seow, Chun

BSc (Manitoba), PhD (Manitoba)

Academic Ranks(s):

Professor, UBC, Research Centre: Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI)


St. Paul’s Hospital / HLI

Short Bio

Dr. Seow specializes in smooth and skeletal muscle cell biology/physiology. His current research focus is on the mechanical function, ultrastructure and biochemistry of airway smooth muscle, in health and disease. There are two main components of his current CIHR-funded research program.  One focuses on the basic mechanism of contraction in smooth muscle, the other focuses on airway hyper-responsiveness related to dysfunction of airway smooth muscle seen in asthma. His other research interests include skeletal muscle mechanics, whole lung and airway mechanics, ATPase cycle associated with the cross-bridge cycle, and mathematical modeling of muscle and lung function.


Academic Background

  • Post Doctoral Training, University of Chicago, Muscle Biophysics. 1989-1992
  • PhD, University of Manitoba, Physiology. 1989
  • BSc, University of Manitoba, Mechanical Engineering. 1984

Awards and Recognition

  • CIHR New Investigator, 1996-2001
  • CIHR/BC Lung Association Investigator, 2001-2006



Selected Publications

  • Dong SJ, Wang L, Chitano P, Vasilescu DM, Paré PD, Seow CY. Airway and parenchymal tissue resistance and elastance in ex vivo sheep lungs: Effects of bronchochallenge and deep inspiration. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2022 May 10. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00033.2022.
  • Seow KN, Seow CY. Molecular Events of the Crossbridge Cycle Reflected in the Force-Velocity Relationship of Activated Muscle. Front Physiol. 2022 Mar 10;13:846284. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2022.846284. PMID: 35360243; PMCID: PMC8960716.
  • Dong SJ, Wang L, Chitano P, Coxson HO, Vasilescu DM, Paré PD, Seow CY. Lung resistance and elastance are different in ex vivo sheep lungs ventilated by positive and negative pressures. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2022 May 1;322(5):L673-L682. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00464.2021. Epub 2022 Mar 10. PMID: 35272489.
  • Dong SJ, Wang L, Chitano P, Coxson HO, Paré PD, Seow CY. Airway diameter at different transpulmonary pressures in ex vivo sheep lungs: implications for deep inspiration-induced bronchodilation and bronchoprotection. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2021 Oct 1;321(4):L663-L674. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00208.2021. Epub 2021 Jul 21. PMID: 34287071.
  • Wang L, Chitano P, Seow CY. Filament evanescence of myosin II and smooth muscle function. J Gen Physiol. 2021 Mar 1;153(3):e202012781. doi: 10.1085/jgp.202012781. PMID: 33606000; PMCID: PMC7901143.
  • Wang L, Chitano P, Seow CY. Mechanopharmacology of Rho-kinase antagonism in airway smooth muscle and potential new therapy for asthma. Pharmacol Res. 2020 Sep;159:104995. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.104995. Epub 2020 Jun 10. PMID: 32534100.
  • Seow CY, An SS. The Force Awakens in the Cytoskeleton: The Saga of a Shape-Shifter. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2020 May;62(5):550-551. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2019-0462ED. PMID: 31940442; PMCID: PMC7193797.
  • Wang L, Chitano P, Paré PD, Seow CY. Upregulation of smooth muscle Rho-kinase protein expression in human asthma. Eur Respir J. 2020 Mar 5;55(3):1901785. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01785-2019. PMID: 31727693.
  • Komatsu S, Wang L, Seow CY, Ikebe M. p116Rip promotes myosin phosphatase activity in airway smooth muscle cells. J Cell Physiol. 2020 Jan;235(1):114-127. doi: 10.1002/jcp.28949. Epub 2019 Jul 25. PMID: 31347175.
  • Luo L, Wang L, Paré PD, Seow CY, Chitano P. The Huxley crossbridge model as the basic mechanism for airway smooth muscle contraction. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2019 Aug 1;317(2):L235-L246. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00051.2019. Epub 2019 May 22. PMID: 31116578; PMCID: PMC6734385.
  • Wang L, Chitano P, Paré PD, Seow CY. Mechanopharmacology and Synergistic Relaxation of Airway Smooth Muscle. J Eng Sci Med Diagn Ther. 2019 Feb;2(1):0110041-110047. doi: 10.1115/1.4042477. Epub 2019 Feb 13. PMID: 32328573; PMCID: PMC7164492.
  • Seow CY. Myosin Crossbridge, Contractile Unit, and the Mechanism of Contraction in Airway Smooth Muscle: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective. J Eng Sci Med Diagn Ther. 2019 Feb;2(1):0108041-108046. doi: 10.1115/1.4042479. Epub 2019 Feb 8. PMID: 32328570; PMCID: PMC7164502.
  • Pascoe CD, Obeidat M, Arsenault BA, Nie Y, Warner S, Stefanowicz D, Wadsworth SJ, Hirota JA, Jasemine Yang S, Dorscheid DR, Carlsten C, Hackett TL, Seow CY, Paré PD. Gene expression analysis in asthma using a targeted multiplex array. BMC Pulm Med. 2017 Dec 11;17(1):189. doi: 10.1186/s12890-017-0545-9. PMID: 29228930; PMCID: PMC5725935.
  • Lutchen KR, Paré PD, Seow CY. Hyperresponsiveness: Relating the Intact Airway to the Whole Lung. Physiology (Bethesda). 2017 Jul;32(4):322-331. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00008.2017. PMID: 28615315.
  • Chitano P, Wang L, Tin GYY, Ikebe M, Paré PD, Seow CY. Smooth muscle function and myosin polymerization. J Cell Sci. 2017 Aug 1;130(15):2468-2480. doi: 10.1242/jcs.202812. Epub 2017 Jun 8. PMID: 28596242.
  • Rosner SR, Pascoe CD, Blankman E, Jensen CC, Krishnan R, James AL, Elliot JG, Green FH, Liu JC, Seow CY, Park JA, Beckerle MC, Paré PD, Fredberg JJ, Smith MA. The actin regulator zyxin reinforces airway smooth muscle and accumulates in airways of fatal asthmatics. PLoS One. 2017 Mar 9;12(3):e0171728. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171728. PMID: 28278518; PMCID: PMC5344679.
  • Ets HK, Seow CY, Moreland RS. Corrigendum: Sustained Contraction in Vascular Smooth Muscle by Activation of L-type Ca2+ Channels Does Not Involve Ca2+ Sensitization or Caldesmon. Front Pharmacol. 2017 Mar 7;8:112. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2017.00112. PMID: 28275352; PMCID: PMC5339265.
  • Janssen C, Buttyan R, Seow CY, Jäger W, Solomon D, Fazli L, Chew BH, Lange D. A Role for the Hedgehog Effector Gli1 in Mediating Stent-induced Ureteral Smooth Muscle Dysfunction and Aperistalsis. Urology. 2017 Jun;104:242.e1-242.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2017.01.029. PMID: 28188758.
  • Gazzola M, Lortie K, Henry C, Mailhot-Larouche S, Chapman DG, Couture C, Seow CY, Paré PD, King GG, Boulet LP, Bossé Y. Airway smooth muscle tone increases airway responsiveness in healthy young adults. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Mar 1;312(3):L348-L357. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00400.2016. PMID: 27941076.
  • Wong WD, Wang L, Paré PD, Seow CY. Bronchodilatory effect of deep inspiration in freshly isolated sheep lungs. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2017 Feb 1;312(2):L178-L185. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00321.2016. PMID: 27913423.

Research Interest

  • Airway smooth muscle
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory System
  • Lung Mechanics
  • Muscle mechanics
  • Muscle biochemistry
  • Muscle ultrastructure

Current Projects In My Lab Include


Teaching Interest

Path 301, section of bioenergetics

Path 438, Course Coordinator

Path 521, Course Coordinator

Anat 527, Course Coordinator